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Indications of pressure flaking more than 70 thousand years ago at Umhlatuzana rock shelter

South African Archaeological Bulletin
Volume 71 Issue 203 (June 2016)

Abstract: With this short contribution, we present our first observations about the application of pressure flaking at Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter more than 70 000 years ago (70 ka). Presently, only three other Middle Stone Age sites have produced evidence of this knapping strategy at such deep time. Identifying more sites, such as Umhlatuzana, with evidence of Middle Stone Age pressure flaking demonstrates that knappers possessed know-how of the technique, enabling them to apply it when useful or necessary, and on a range of raw materials. Our findings indicate at least three applications of pressure flaking in the production of Still Bay and serrated points at Umhlatuzana. These applications seem to include the final shaping of Still Bay points, the deliberate flaking of serrated edges, and the thinning of point preforms. The points from Umhlatuzana currently represent the most extensive indication of pressure flaking as a well-developed part of the Middle Stone Age knapping repertoire.

To cite this article: Hogberg, Anders and Lombard, Marlize. Indications of pressure flaking more than 70 thousand years ago at Umhlatuzana rock shelter [online]. South African Archaeological Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 203, June 2016: 53-59. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=271406303572538;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 0038-1969. [cited 29 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Hogberg, Anders; Lombard, Marlize; Source: South African Archaeological Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 203, June 2016: 53-59 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0038-1969 Subject: Human evolution; Flintknapping; Stone implements--Analysis; Prehistoric peoples--Antiquities; Tools, Prehistoric--Classification; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) School of Cultural Studies Archaeology, Faculty of Art and Humanities, Linnaeus University, SE-391 82 Kalmar, Sweden, and Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, (STIAS) Wallenberg Research Centre at Stellenbosch University, Marais Street, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa, email: anders.hogberg@lnu.se
(2) Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, (STIAS) Wallenberg Research Centre at Stellenbosch University, Marais Street, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection